1628, Sea Season
After being exiled by Leika, the group has returned to Boldhome, where there was a letter from Onjur waiting. They returned to Boldhome on Windsday. Season 3, Session 6.
Berra went off to her Temple on Windsday, and the next day, Fireday, was absent for much of it. In the early afternoon she comes to the Library to ask if Xenofos is there, waiting outside for an answer.
After a while the scribe walks to the door. There are inkstains in his fingers and his face is lit when he sees Berra. “Little cousin, what can I do for you?”
Berra bows. “Uh…” There’s a glance at the surroundings. “Have you got time to take a walk, and do something else?” Probably, from the way she radiates not wanting to talk here, something secret.
Xenofos takes a second look and nods. “Just a moment, I’ll pack my notes away from my desk.”
Berra steps back, waits patiently. That is, she looks all around, fidgets, examines the stone with Truth on it that is outside, and helps a spider to get up an awkward bit of wall. By the time Xenofos returns, she is back where she was, with nothing but muddied footprints on the grass indicating that she was away from the paved road.
Xenofos has his sword by his side now, partly hidden by his cloak. “I am at your disposal now, Berra. Lead the way.”
Berra does just that, speaking as they get clear of the Temple. “I talked to Lord Eril about Onjur’s letter,” she says. “He’s worried.”
“One of the things he wants is to know what Onjur looks like. Probably so that he can let other people know. You saw the Iron bas… the man, right? When we fought him in the tower.”
“Yes, I saw him.” He tugs his beard thoughtfully. “Otherwise I probably could not say if the writer is lord Onjur when I get to ask Lhankor Mhy about the letter…”
“So, anything you can remember about him would be good. What you think of him, as much without my thoughts as possible. And can you describe him to an artist?” Berra often bobs along as she talks, bouncing. This time she is walking quickly but smoothly, like she is advancing to an encounter. She lacks only a drawn sword and the heavy armour; she is in her scouting gear, getting lightly rained on and apparently not noticing.
He nods. “I will do so when we meet with Tennebris again. Maybe write these things down. You spoke to Eril you say?”
“He… yeah. And we’re on our way to see an artist who can draw that for you. If you don’t mind talking to one.” Berra is more focussed ahead now, shoulders back, weight even. She looks like she could burst forward at any moment.
“That will have to wait little cousin.” He looks at Berra. “It is a long time since I saw him last and that was in the battle.”
Berra sighs. “But before …” She pauses. “Oh. Yeah, you don’t think like I do. And Rajar took time to take him in because there wasn’t a fight. Alright. Never mind. I’ll tell the guy. But Tennebris wasn’t the one who asked that, so don’t surprise him unless… well, you get the idea. So. Personality. Tell me about Onjur.” She’s bouncing again now. With one plan not happening, a different part of her thinking has taken over.
Then there’s a beat-pause. “If you have time.”
“For you, I have time.” Scholar considers the request silently “And I don’t think I am divulging secrets I have said to keep secret if I talk of him to you.”
“Yeah. So, what’s your thinking about him? Who is he? What’s he like? What’s he likely to be doing? Not specifics, just general stuff.” Xenofos has almost all of her attention.
“Onjur Eel belongs to clan of Eel Ariash, one of the most noble houses in the empire, with strong ties to Tarsh specifically.”
Berra takes that in with a tiny nod, like it is falling into a pot full of facts that she will later jumble up and shake to learn new things. She obviously has questions, but keeps them from bursting out.
“Others of the house would be Hon-Eel and Jar-Eel. Of Onjur himself I had never heard before – so he is probably not very old or may have been active somewhere away from Dragon Pass until relatively recently. He was carrying all the signs of a Scimitar of Yanafal Tarnils so it is obvious he has done a lot somewhere.”
“Uhuh…” Berra nods. “Anything else?” She is walking more slowly now, no longer trying to get somewhere, but giving Xenofos her attention and a three-quarter profile.
“As a Scimitar he probably has geasae like Swords, but so far there is no indication what they might be.” Scholar continues.
Berra’s eyes narrow as she thinks about that. “Huh. Interesting.”
“There is no doubt of his prowess, and he seems to possess both physical and moral courage.” Xenofos goes on.
“Moral?” Berra looks like she doesn’t get that in this context.
“He seems to be ready to do whatever his mission takes to be fulfilled whether it risks him or others.” Scribe continues in a way of explanation. “A the same time he is flexible, will not be easily provoked into action under unfavourable situation and seems to be utterly ruthless.”
“Oh, yes. Right.” Berra nods to that. “I get you now. Can you take guesses about how he works, in general? What sort of thing does he do?”
“Not really. I have seen him use deception twice, but some would consider that a legitimate ruse of war. When he attacked Kallyr I understand he used divertion.” Scribe looks at Berra with a shrug. “His thinking seems alien to me. Like Eril or some scheming granny. He is probably trying to use us as his pawns somehow, but we know that.”
Berra’s expression says she is taking in everything Xenofos tells her. “Alright. Thank you. That was a few things I didn’t know.”
“What I find quite intriguing is who is he working for right now” The scholar concludes.
Berra nods, and says nothing to that. She turns her attention back to the walk again. “Wanna go get something to eat? If we’re not going to see the artist we have a bit of time. I mean, unless you want to get back to drawing.”
“Sure. Bread with meat and sharp peppers for you?”